Fantasy Camp: Team Speedo vs. Arena Elite Team (Preview)

For years, Speedo has been dominating the world of swimming sponsorships, so much so that the term “Speedo” has become synonymous with certain types of racing suits, regardless of brand. But a recent push by international competitor Arena, including defections of Emily Seebohm, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, and Kirsty Coventry, got us thinking: in a head-to-head matchup, who would win: Team Speedo or the Arena Elite Team?

Both are fine companies that make quality sportswear. This is not a judgment of the quality of equipment (and neither company is paying us), but it’s just sort of a fun twist on the meet predictions we usually do. We also wanted to recognize the huge contributions that each of these companies makes to elite swimming, and how much they contribute to helping the world’s best swimmers be at their best.

(We looked at including other suit companies, including TYR, but none had the diversity or depth of athletes to compete with Arena and Speedo. If we were to include a triathlon event, however, TYR would be right back in the game, as that is where they have invested a good portion of their sponsorship dollars.)

The Players

The Arena Elite Team will be led by myself, and Team Speedo will be led by the ladies over at the Reezy Nation, who are the biggest Ryan Lochte fans on earth, but are serious fans of swimming of all persuasions.

The Format

Each team will consist of 18 swimmers and 1 coach. The meet will have a grand total of 16 events: The full Olympic schedule of 13 individual events for each gender, plus the 3 Olympic relays and 50’s of each stroke. Each swimmer is allowed to swim a maximum of 3 individual events, plus unlimited relays. Each team has a maximum of 3 entries in each individual event and 2 entries in each relay event.

The Scoring

Scoring will be as follows:

Individual: 8-5-4-3-2

Relays: 13-7-3

The Races

The real trick is how to decide the placings. We relied heavily on 2010 and early 2011 times, and tried to avoid making too many “bold predictions.” We acted as though this meet was being swum today, and that all athletes were fully tapered. We also ignored any injuries that might be affecting swimmers currently.

We had to make a little bit more of a leap for swimmers who sat out the 2010 season for one reason or another (which would have affected Team Arena a lot more than Team Speedo).

Just like in real life, there’s always a bit of uncertainty at a big meet, but this game isn’t supposed to be about predicting races, like we do for World Championships or Olympics. There won’t be a whole lot of “dark horse” action, or otherwise upsets.

The meet will be split up into 3 days, and given that there are no prelims, we don’t foresee multiple swims adversely affecting many swimmers.

The Rosters

The exercise of assembling rosters ended up being a lot more difficult than we thought it would be, but that challenge made it a lot more fun.

Each roster is made up of 18 individual swimmers. We did our best to make sure that each sponsorship was accurate, though it is a bit of a challenge because neither company has an exhaustive list of their sponsored athletes posted anywhere. If we missed one, please let us know, and we’ll adjust appropriately. Remember that we were trying to make the best complete team, so there were often times where great swimmers were left off of the rosters.

We decided to allow recently-retired swimmers to participate, so long as they competed in a major championship meet at the end of the 2010 season. (Based on what’s been going on in the swimming world lately, is anyone ever really retired?)

Step 1: Each team chose 12 swimmers who are individually sponsored by their respective suit company.

Step 2: Each team chose 4 swimmers from national federations who are sponsored by their respective suit company, with no more than 1 male and 1 female per country.

Step 3: Each team chose 2 swimmers from an NCAA team who is sponsored by their respective suit company.

Team Speedo

Men:
Ryan Lochte (USA)
Michael Phelps (USA)
Peter Vanderkay (USA)
Tyler Clary (USA)
Eamon Sullivan (AUS)
Tae-Hwan Park (SKOR)
Fabien Gilot (FRA)
Filippo Magnini (ITA)
Liam Tancock (UK)
Fabio Scozzoli (ITA)
Aschwin Wildeboer (ESP)
Brent Hayden (CAN)

Canada – Ryan Cochrane
Japan – Kosuke Kitajima
United States – Matt Grevers
Brazil – Thiago Pereira

U of Florida – Marco Loughran
U of Texas – Eric Friedland

Observations: Team Speedo is loaded on the men’s side, and it starts at the top with Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. There are certain events where this team will absolutely dominate, including the IM’s and the 200 free, thanks to the aforementioned two, Tae Hwan Park, and Tyler Clary. However, they will struggle a little in the 50’s. They bring three great freestylers in Eamon Sullivan, Brent Hayden, and Fabien Gilot, but get a little thin after that. Especially with a team heavy on Americans who don’t have as much experience in 50m races.

Women:
Natalie Coughlin (USA)
Jessica Hardy (USA)
Kate Ziegler (USA)
Katie Hoff  (USA)
Daniela Samulski (GER)
Lesiel Jones (AUS)
Rebecca Adlington (UK)
Christine Magnuson  (USA)
Stephanie Rice (AUS)
Dana Vollmer (USA)
Marleen Veldhuis (NED)
Ellen Fullerton (AUS)

Australia – Sarah Katsoulis
China – Jiao Liuyang
United Kingdom – Jemma Lowe
Canada – Annamay Pierse

U of Florida – Teresa Crippen
U of Florida – Elizabeth Beisel

Coach: Bob Bowman, North Baltimore Aquatic Club

Observations: This team is rife with middle-distance swimmers. Adlington, Ziegler, and Hoff are all strong medal candidates in the 200-and-longer freestyles. They also bring great versatility with the likes of Natalie Coughlin, Jessica Hardy, and Dana Vollmer, who all excel in many different strokes. One thing that won’t be an issue for this team is communication: out of the 18 athletes, only 3 are not native English speakers (Samulski, Veldhuis and Liuyang).

Arena Elite Team

Men:
Alain Bernard (FRA)
Paul Biedermann (GER)
Milorad Cavic (SER)
Cesar Cielo (BRA)
Laszlo Cseh (HUN)
Jason Dunford (KEN)
Mads Glaesner (DEN)
Pawel Korzeniowski (POL)
Oussama Mellouli (TUN)
Aaron Peirsol (USA)
Eric Shanteau (USA)
Cameron van der Burgh (RSA)

Russia-Stanislav Donets
Norway-Alexander Dale Oen
South Africa-Roland Schoeman
New Zealand-Daniel Bell

Cal-Nathan Adrian
Auburn-Adam Brown

Observations: Nobody can challenge Team Arena in the freestyle sprints. Between Cielo, Bernard, Adrian, Brown, and Schoeman, they create one of the greatest sprint relays the world has ever seen, and that’s even without a few superstars that were left off, like Stefan Nystrand. Aaron Peirsol had to be called back for his last major swim to fill a gaping hole in the backstroke events. If anyone can be ready for a big meet on short notice, it’s him. Hawke was a perfect fit to coach a team loaded with the best sprinters in the world.

Women:
Therese Alshammar (SWE)
Kirsty Coventry (ZIM)
Inge Dekker (NED)
Lotte Friis (DEN)
Fran Halsall (UK)
Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED)
Hannah Miley (UK)
Emily Seebohm (AUS)
Sarah Sjostrom (SWE)
Julia Smit (USA)
Rebecca Soni (USA)
Suzaan Van Biljon (RSA)

Hungary – Katinka Hosszu
Belarus – Aleksandra Herasimenia
Germany – Silke Lippok
South Africa – Wendy Trott

Auburn – Micah Lawrence
Auburn – Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace

Coach: Brett Hawke

Observations: This team features a lot of new faces on the Arena elite team. The two newest stars, Ranomi Kromowidjojo and and Emily Seebohm, have both been with the team for under 2 months, but are already two of the most important pieces. This team will dominate the 50 meter races, but will struggle a little in the longer, 200m races.

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Miss5

Even though I know the Speedo list was made by Reezy Nation members, it’s still surprising to see Lochte’s name in front of 14-times Olympic gold medal winner.

Brint

I would have put Gyurta and Ryan Harrison in over Bell and one of the sprinters for Arena. Or you could include Japan’s Arena swimmers, though I’m not sure they are affiliated in any way. Also, Latourette over Staab for Speedo, and I think I’d have Duboscq in there. Overall great picks though.

Miss5, in all honestly we were just listing out the swimmers. We didn’t even think about the medal haul. Phelps and Ryan are always #1 to us.. We respect both of them and we meant no disrespect. This was so much harder than we thought it was going to be. Team Speedo has a shortage of breaststrokers on both the men’s and women’s team. We wanted to find strong all around swimmers but that wasn’t always possible. It was especially difficult since each swimmer couldn’t only swim 3 events. (Ryan, MFP, Hardy, Volmer, Crippen) We picked Staab over Latourette because we felt we already had depth in the distances and we needed someone who could swim more than 1 event.… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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